This next week, if you are a resident of the City of Mason, you should be getting an important piece of mail from us. This is the annual Water Quality Report mandated by the EPA and it addresses the issues that we have with some fairly minor radionuclide contamination in our drinking water. There are only two different types of readings for which the City water, and all of the wells in the County also, have elevated levels of contamination and these are a result of the naturally occurring water erosion of the granite in our soils and sub-surface rocks. The City has carefully shifted our pumping from specific wells to reduce the levels and we are working on a new feasibility study to identify possible technologies or possible changes that would help to reduce the levels even further. I am confident that in the next two or three years we will be able to continue the positive changes we have already seen and no longer be considered in violation of the EPA standards. When I first become Mayor nine years ago this was a significant issue we addressed for the first couple of years, and the regular readings for Radium 226 & 228 were ranging from 11 to 13 pCi/l. Now we are ranging from 6 to 7 pCi/l with a goal of 5 or lower (I would explain pCi/l if I understood this measurement myself !) and I feel we are easily in reach of making that happen. I am very pleased with the situation and our potential for real compliance, but if you have concerns or questions I would be glad to visit with you about our water issues.
In another area of water issues, we are still reminding all of the City residents that while we have had more rainfall in recent weeks, we are still seeing a need for water conservation and wise use of this precious resource. Our water level monitoring still shows a lower water table than previously and we need to remind our residents that we have never lifted the voluntary water conservation measures. We are requesting everyone to limit yard and landscape watering to between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. to avoid the significant evaporation during the heat of the day and water no more than twice a week. The recent reports indicate that our residents are actively practicing very good water conservation, but we continue to encourage everyone to not waste our water resources and help protect it for the future residents of our hometown.
One further service that the City has brought back is providing mosquito dunks for those residents who have standing water on your property. Again because of the several recent rains, water has collected in any depression or container possible and this is providing an excellent breeding ground for a bumper crop of mosquitos! We will probably start spraying for mosquitos in the next couple of weeks, but if you have standing water anywhere in your neighborhood it would be best to dump it out and remove this opportunity for these insect pests. If the standing water you know about is too large to “dump” or just not in a location to make drying it out practical, you can come by the City office and we will give you a donut sized mosquito dunk that you can toss in the water and it will prevent the mosquito larva from hatching or maturing. A few minutes of dumping out collected water or tossing a mosquito dunk in the “pond” will possibly prevent dozens of itchy bites and the possibility of insect borne disease.
Look for the annual water report in the mail in the next few days, and certainly if you have concerns or questions call the City office or email me at email@example.com and we will work to get you the right answers. If you see me around town and want to visit about it, I would be glad to talk anytime and I can probably overwhelm most of your questions with information and data. If you feel a need to water your yard, please consider the right time and manner of watering to conserve the water we do have. And if you have any suggestions or ideas that might improve our water supply, our town or any small part of what makes this a truly great community we are always eager to hear from you, and together we can make this the very best hometown in Texas.
Your friend and neighbor, Brent